How this 100-year-old grandma is giving advice to strangers across the country

What’s the best way to inherit a century’s worth of wisdom? Drop by 100-year-old Eileen Wilkinson’s makeshift office in New York City.

And just because she's older than the first computer, don't think she's not up-to-date with the latest technology.

Read: 89-Year-Old Instagram Star Baddie Winkle Learns How to Mix Cocktails

The grandmother is offering her advice to New Yorkers from the comfort of her home in Washington state via a webcam. It's connected to a laptop that's set up in a cardboard booth in Manhattan's Upper East Side.

"It works both ways because I get great joy talking to them," she told CBS New York.

Wilkinson dishes out free advice with the help of her grandson, Mike Matthews, an adjunct social media professor at New York University. He organized the set-up three months ago.

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The Smartest Advice I Ever Got
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The Smartest Advice I Ever Got
Even the best minds in money learned their strategies from those who came before. Click forward to see advice from money moguls like Warren Buffett, Richard Branson, and Timothy Ferriss.
Author, "The Four-Hour Workweek"
Don't get too good at the wrong stuff

Professor Ed Zschau at Princeton University gave me a short but powerful piece of advice. I had volunteered for the second time to clean erasers and place name placards on desks before class to get to know him.

He said with a smile, "Don't get too good at the little things" and explained that if you excel at the menial tasks, those are the responsibilities people will give you.

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Chairman, Virgin Group
Be humble about what you don't know

Until the late 1980s, I was still confusing gross profit with net. Every now and then I would fake it, but not too well. One of my board members finally pulled me aside to give me a mnemonic, or memory aid, which often comes in handy for dyslexics.

He said, "Pretend you're fishing. Net is all the fish in your net at the end of the year. Gross is that plus everything that got away."

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Don't save too much

When I was a first-year assistant professor at the University of Chicago, my friend and department chair Jose Scheinkman relayed the advice Milton Friedman had given him 20 years earlier: "Don't save too much."

The logic was simple: An academic's salary rises steadily over time, as do outside opportunities (like writing popular books!). When times are good, you should save, and when times are bad, borrow.
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Money doesn't make you happy

Material stuff won't make you happy. I'm pretty sure I got the message at the Hebrew school attached to the temple in Morristown, N.J., where I grew up. Maybe I was around eight at the time.

It's very true; I'm pretty happy with a tiny fraction of the wealth I could have. I know a bunch of really rich guys, and they're no happier than anyone else.

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Create your own opportunities

I started working as a freelance makeup artist in 1980, and I worried that I didn't have enough money. My father told me I'd just have to figure out a way to make more money. So I started looking through the Yellow Pages and calling agencies, magazines, photographers -- anyone I could offer my services to. Soon enough, I was getting regular calls to do their makeup. My father's advice made me feel that I was in control of my future. More from Bobbi Brown
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Don't follow the herd

My teacher in graduate school at MIT in 1970, Charles Poor Kindleberger, who later wrote "Manias, Panics, and Crashes," first convinced me of the social process that drives much of what goes on in speculative markets.

People do not trust their own judgment but go along with the crowd, even when they can see truth.

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Study Warren Buffett

My good friend Bill Ackman, currently a hedge fund manager for Pershing Square Capital Management, told me, "Read all of Warren Buffet's Berkshire-Hathaway shareholder letters. That's all you need to know." I've been reading them voraciously ever since.

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Do what you love
My father was an artist who loved what he did. He'd sit at his board 12 hours a day. I once said to him, "Gee, Dad, all the other fathers have time after they come home to play ball or sit around. At the end of the day, you're working." He put his brush down and said, "Those fathers are doctors, lawyers and bankers. When they come home, all they want to do is their hobby. My work and my hobby are the same. Find work in something you love and it won't feel like work."
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My father is the most frugal human being I've ever met. His most adamant instruction was that I should never under any circumstances go into debt. To this end, he passed along the message his own grandfather had taught him: "Borrowing money is like wetting your bed in the middle of the night. At first all you feel is warmth and release. But very, very quickly comes the awful, cold discomfort of reality."

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“She absolutely gets a kick out of meeting New Yorkers because they’re so open about their lives,” Matthews said. “A friend of mine will say, ‘I spoke to your grandmother last night,’ and I’ll say, ‘I had no idea.’”

Read: 100-Year-Old Piano Player Says Music and Martinis Are the Secrets to a Long Life

Among her words of advice, she told one stranger: "You can be anything you want. Don't complain about anything. You do something about it."

“She’s so wise,” a boy who spent a few minutes chatting with Grandma Wilkinson told CBS New York. “And she does not look 100. She looks like she’s in her late 80s.”

Wilkinson, who spent most of her life as a homemaker and mother, credits her longevity to a good, clean lifestyle. She'll turn 101 in January.

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